Debut of Penn's New Web Page: September 15

In an earlier Almanac announcement, Provost Stanley Chodorow and Executive Vice President John Fry took note of the Internet's rapidly expanding World Wide Web. The "Web's" ease of use and its ability to link text, graphics, sound and images, they noted, "make it a valuable tool for a host of University academic and business functions, and its multimedia capabilities make it an ideal place to 'publish' information about Penn...." To prepare a more coherent Penn presence on the Web, they launched an initiative to coordinate key services and features, including a new Penn "Home Page" design, a style guide for Penn Web developers, and a campus-wide calendar in Web format. These are slated for release on September 15, 1995.

The new home page design replaces the current Penn home page with a top level page plus five "views," each tailored to an audience group's perspective: "Faculty & colleagues worldwide," "Students," "Prospective students," "Alumni, neighbors and visitors," and "Schools, offices and services." In addition to the view pages, the Penn Web will be indexed, so that users can easily search it. This capacity supplements the formal organization of the view pages and gives users more rapid, direct access to information of interest to them. The existing electronic Penn information system, PennInfo, will also be incorporated in the Penn Web (see Almanac*, September 5, 1995). Intended as a helpful tool for Penn Web information providers, the style guide includes the basics of the World Wide Web; Web navigation and page design; practical information on how to implement a page on the Penn Web, and what resources are available; and a catalog of approved graphic and stylistic elements.

The new Penn events calendar will enable Web users to view coming events at Penn by whatever criteria they find useful--for example, by school or department, by topic, or by particular date. Local calendar "czars" in schools and departments can easily update and maintain their entries, and if they wish, have the Web calendar entry automatically routed to Almanac/Compass for print publication.

These developments have been steered by a group chartered by the Provost and Executive Vice President, assisted by 35 advisors selected by deans and directors. In addition, many other individuals across campus have contributed to the implementation.

A number of key principles have guided the effort to develop Penn's official World Wide Web presence--official Penn information should be relevant, complete and current; official information should be labeled as such for the viewer; the same review and approval procedures used for official print publications should be followed for Web publication.

The World Wide Web is a dynamic, changing medium, and the Penn Web will continue to evolve and improve over time. If you desire more information, or have a question or a suggestion, contact the Penn Web Committee, c/o Office of the Vice President and Secretary, Suite 400, 133 South 36th St./3246, or webcom@pobox.upenn.edu.

Barbara Stevens, Vice President and Secretary of the University
Janice Madden, Vice Provost for Graduate Education
James O'Donnell, Professor of Classical Studies and co-chair, Council Committee on Communications
Ira Winston, Director of SEAS Computing and co-chair, Council Committee on Communications
Michael Eleey, Associate Vice Provost for Information and Computing
Daniel Updegrove, Associate Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing

* Back issues since January 1993 are now electronically accessible through the new Almanac web page, http://www.upenn.edu/almanac/.